Student Candidates Support Capitol Rally

Although the U students rallying at the Capitol Wednesday were there ostensibly in support of low tuition increases, many of them were representing their own political parties.

The Associated Students of the University of Utah encouraged candidates from the five parties running for student office to attend the rally. ASUU offered to reward the best-represented party with a free advertisement in The Daily Utah Chronicle.

Elevation and Impact, the two largest parties, were well represented at the rally. Both parties estimated they had 30 members in attendance. Representatives of the Apathy Party also went to the rally.

“I think everyone has a stake in this,” said Apathy presidential nominee Steven Paradise. “We have to do what we can.”

“I think our whole party is showing up,” said Rodney Earl, the Apathy candidate for vice president. “They gave out free pizza last year.”

Like many other candidates at the rally, the Apathy representatives said they were there to work for student interests and represent their party.

“I am here to support the students of Utah,” said Elevation’s Dan Harrison. “Being a candidate has definitely influenced me to be here.”

“Obviously I came up here to get Elevation here,” said Colter Hammer, who is running for vice president. Although Hammer said he was there for his party and to rally to keep tuition low.

“This is something that affects me more as a student than a candidate,” said Elevation’s Jason Davis. “It’s important that students get involved.”

Davis heard about the rally through his party.

The Impact Party representatives also said they support the cause rather than their candidacy.

“Regardless of what happens with the election, this is important,” said Randall Lloyd, Impact’s candidate for vice president. “We need to make sure they realize the importance of higher education.”

All of the students with the Impact Party wore red, the campaign’s color, at the rally to demonstrate their party allegiance.

Impact sent emails to all party contacts and called the candidates to encourage them to attend the rally. Harrington believes more party members would have attended the rally if they had been given better notice. Student leaders planned the rally for Wednesday only recently.

“I’m just here to support the movement,” said Impact assembly candidate Jake Smith. “I didn’t know what it was until today.”

Although Smith went to the rally because a party member called him and told him about it, he said he probably would have gone to the rally anyway.

No representatives from Probable Cause went to the rally.

“I don’t know if the rally is the best way to support student needs,” said Steve Rinehart, Probable Cause presidential candidate. “I could have made the rally if I wanted to. I just didn’t want to go.”

Representatives from What? also did not attend the rally because of time constraints.

“First and foremost I’m a student,” said Marcus Lopez, What? candidate for vice president. “I do feel that fighting for low tuition is incredibly important. I can’t afford to take any time away from class.”

ASUU encouraged the candidates to attend the rally because leaders felt the candidates should be informed about legislative and lobbying issues.

“[Candidates] had better be motivated” to attend the rally, said ASUU President Ben Lowe about the candidates. “It’s their job. If they want to be a viable candidate, they had better be involved with the issues.”

“Students have a right to know who is deeply involved,” Lowe said. “It’s a good opportunity for these candidates to jump into the political arena and start making a difference for next year.”

Although ASUU encouraged the candidates to attend the rally, students were not allowed to campaign like they did last year. Candidates are not allowed to officially campaign until March 23. Last year the campaign rules were suspended for the rally, but the elections are too far distant for students to begin campaigning now.

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